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Fear Of Retribution, Teacher Discontent, And Liberal Practices Paving Way For Education Savings Accounts And Public School Exodus

Third in a Series of Reports

Image Credit: Skyler Ewing / Pexels

By David Seal [Special to The Tennessee Conservative] –

During the fall semester 2023, a concerned teacher reported a heinous situation and requested help. A disruptive student spit on him during class and was sent to the school administration for discipline.

The student was interviewed, given candy, and provided a cot on which to take a nap, a now common procedure that ultra-liberal academic-types call “de-escalation.”

The teacher was humiliated after learning that the student faced no negative consequences for his spitting episode. This sent a clear message to every student in the school; bad behavior will be rewarded. 

This is one manifestation of the” “whole child approach” that was initiated by Hillary Clinton and others in the mid-1990s. According to some, it fits the globalist view that government schools should replace the parent and dispense with traditional discipline.

On another occasion, multiple teachers reported that a violent elementary aged student was sent to the alternative school after committing vandalism and making threats to school personnel.

Ideally, students stay in alternative programs for a semester or until they complete a behavior intervention and rehabilitation program. In this case, the student was returned to his regular school after a few days where he re-offended within 15 minutes. The child was then relocated to a different school within the district.

The Federalist report of January 24, 2024, provides excellent documentation on how parents are dealing with this issue, linked here. They are pulling their children out of public schools.

Because of violent and disruptive student episodes, teachers, bus drivers, and teachers’ aides are also leaving the profession in record numbers.

In the past 4 years, the Jefferson County School District has experienced a turnover of more than 610 employees, about 60% of its overall workforce.

Despite the efforts made by school administrators to minimize disruptive student episodes and to project a good public relations image, parents hear the accounts of what happens at school.

As of December 2023, families were holding at least 822 students out of the district for home school and private school options, about 12% of total enrollment.

Parents want their children to have a safe learning environment and School system employees need administrative support to create such an environment.

“As an employee of the Jefferson County School district, many of the school system employees have lost all faith, compassion or trust with our director of schools and the School Board.  For many reasons, I feel that they are so concerned with their image and don’t care about the staff.  I really think it is time for the director and the School Board to start supporting their employees.  I and others feel that they try to bend over backwards to support parents, but they will not back employees.”  ~ Jefferson County School System Employee that wishes to remain anonymous.

Teachers, parents, and classified staff members fear retribution from school administrators. This is why they contact third parties to plead for help. They report having little administrative support and nowhere to turn.

Author’s note: This report, prior reports, and the series of reports to follow, are based on 32 years of public-school teaching experience, conversations with parents, students, and exit interviews with teachers that are leaving public education.

First in the series linked here, the second linked here.

About the Author: David Seal is a retired Jefferson County educator, recognized artist, local businessman, 917 Society Volunteer, and current Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party. He has also served Jefferson County as a County Commissioner and is a citizen lobbyist for the people on issues such as eminent domain, property rights, education, and broadband accessibility on the state level.

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